Recently heard on one of Paul’s Youtube videos mentioning that the sound is better in the middle range of a volume control instead of the very minimum of it’s range.
I own a BHK preamp and am using XLR Audioqest Water Interconnects from my Mark Levinson CD player. My usual volume setting is between 20 and 30 depending on the cd. Occurred to me that if i switch to RCA Audioquest Water interconnects (which i don’t own) the voltage would be cut in half, and then my listening volume would be more around 50 to 60 on the preamp numbering system.
Would this be a better configuration or should I stick with the XLR connectors?
The different inputs do not quite work that way. It might be half the voltage, but the inputs are typically buffered so the volume difference will be minimal.
I’ve had other equipment in the past, with different cables, and have not experienced that.
I’ve found that it is twice as much range on the volume control.
I would never switch from XLR balanced connectors to single ended RCA for that reason. Fully balanced signal connections have an undeniable advantage with common-mode noise rejection. All my BHK pre inputs and outputs are balanced (true balanced) with the single exception of my phono pre. I have no choice with that input. I also wouldn’t call 20 to 30 the very minimum of the BHK pre volume control range. One of the true innovations of this BHK design is the hybrid approach he used for the volume control. It was motivated by a desire for maximum transparency and IMHO that is what he achieved.
Ok, I’ve heard that the BHK volume control is different than most. is that why it clicks when going from 24 to 25 on the setting?
I’ve also heard that for short runs, 3’ for CD to preamp, that XLR aren’t needed because of the short distance. Myself, I don’t know.
Recommend setting the preamp’s volume to be >=56 or so, for the best sound. You’ll find a few other audible “steps” that you pass through as you turn up the dial. I’m not sure how you’ll attenuate the volume of an analogue source, however; I’ve been using this volume setting with DACs (in which I can either turn down the DAC volume directly or by attenuating it within the Roon software), and this seems to be a sweet spot for the best listening. More experienced folks than me have posted about this volume range being desirable (please see the other forums here about this preamp).
The volume control is completely different on the BHK preamp. It actually adjusts the gain of the tubes. It also has discrete steps that will cause an audible mechanical click from the relays in the preamp. It is immune to the issues of a variable potentiometer and step resistor type controls used in conventional preamp designs.